Five leading travel writers from China were invited to Northern Ireland recently as guests of Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI – to experience at first-hand what Northern Ireland has to offer Chinese holidaymakers. The journalists represent a number of print and online publications with a combined readership of about 170 million.
The journalists’ itinerary included a drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, with stops at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle. The group also enjoyed a Game of Thrones experience at ‘Winterfell’ – aka Castle Ward near Strangford – as well as a visit to Titanic Belfast, Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and Queen’s University.
James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager China, said: “China is an important emerging travel market and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years, so we were delighted to have the opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland to these journalists. Their articles will be seen and read by about 170 million people around China, helping to raise awareness of the many things to see and do on a holiday in Northern Ireland.”
According to the latest data from the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), China is now the world’s largest outbound travel market – with 135 million people travelling overseas each year, spending about $261 billion.
Tourism Ireland has a strong network in China, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The organisation’s activity involves establishing and building relationships with influential Chinese intermediaries, including the travel trade, airlines and media – highlighting our natural attractions, cities, castles and our proximity to Great Britain. The Chinese version of Tourism Ireland’s international website is http://www.ireland.com/zh-cn; and social media is also increasingly important in helping to raise awareness of Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland in this mobile-dominant country.